Bio

gerson_daniela_mxI’m an assistant professor of journalism at California State University, Northridge (CUNY) and a senior fellow at the Center for Community and Ethnic Media (CCEM)at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York (CUNY). And, yes, I do have lots of titles with “c” acronyms.

The same week the first travel ban went into effect, January 2017, I created Migratory Notes, a pop-up immigration newsletter with another experienced immigration reporter, Elizabeth Aguilera.

I was previously a senior fellow and consultant at the Democracy Fund, where I advised the Public Square Program on its work to strengthen journalism innovation and engagement with multiethnic communities.

In 2015-2016, I worked with the Los Angeles Times as a community engagement editor.  Our projects on student immigration walkoutsclosure of LAUSDPorter Ranch gas leak, and  San Bernardino victim memories (which was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage for breaking news), implemented new strategies to integrate readers into the reporting process. Our bilingual education forum and other meetings with students, teachers and parents cultivated in-person community connections. And HS Insider, our youth journalism platform, grew to more than 175 schools, connecting young people of diverse backgrounds to the newspaper.

Before joining the L.A. Times, I directed the Civic Engagement and Journalism Initiative at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. As part of that role, I was the founding editor of Alhambra Source, an award-winning multilingual community site and research project into how local news can foster civic engagement and cross linguistic and ethnic barriers. I also developed Reporter Corps, a program to train young adults to report on their own communities, and advised Intersections South LA on community outreach and site development. I served as a consultant with the Institute for Nonprofit News developing online training programs.

In addition to the L.A. Times, I have reported for the Financial Times Magazine, The New York Times, PRI’s The World, Weekend America, Der Spiegel, WNYC: New York Public Radio, among other outlets. My first newspaper job was as a staff immigration reporter for the New York Sun, where my beat included Chinese-Italian tensions in Brooklyn and Irish undocumented immigrants in the Bronx, the national immigration debate in Washington and Dominican criminal deportees in Santo Domingo.

I spent more than a year reporting from Berlin as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation German Chancellor Scholar and Arthur F. Burns Fellow. Officially, I was researching contemporary guest worker programs in Europe. But I also danced in a frevo troupe and created a German-language radio documentary for Deutschlandradio Kultur.

I graduated from Brown University with a BA in International Relations and History, and USC Annenberg with an MA in Specialized Journalism, focusing on demographics, immigration and digital media. I speak Spanish and Portuguese (with a Carioca accent), and can get by in German and Hebrew.